"But Mrs. Freeman wants you to go to bed early to-night."A couple of maids had been seen carrying a new trunk upstairs, or old Piper had been discovered crawling down the avenue with his shaky cab, and shakier horse, and then the new girl had appeared at tea-time and been formally introduced, and if she were shy had got over it as best she could, and had soon discovered her place in class, and there was an end of the matter."When will that be?"
"Cross-patch!" murmured Violet, turning her back on Janet. "Come, Marion; come, Pauline, we won't tell her any more. We'll tell you, Dolly, of course, but we won't tell Janet. Come, Marion, let's go."
"I do, my love. But your truest happiness is not secured by giving you your own way in everything."
These remarks usually turned the tables against Janet May, but they also had another effect. She began to be sparing of her sharp, unkind words in Bridget's hearing. This, however, did not prevent her hating the new girl with the most cordial hatred she had ever yet bestowed upon anyone."She's not so bad at all," began Dorothy."Very well, if it must be so, but I shall be very miserable, and misery soon makes me ill."
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A titter ran down the table at these remarks; Mrs. Freeman bent to pick up her pocket handkerchief, and Miss Delicia, rushing to Bridget's side, began to whisper vigorously in her ear.Mrs. Freeman went over and drew back the curtains.
Bridget's movements were so fleet that the head mistress had no time to intercept her; there was a flash of a white dress disappearing through the open window, and that was all."O Janey," exclaimed two of the other girls in a breath, "a committee does sound so absurdly formal."
What a fuss everyone was making about that stupid Evelyn Percival. Here was the head mistress even quite in a fume because she was a minute or two late in putting in an appearance.
"My dears," said Mrs. Freeman, answering the looks on all faces, "your young companion's extraordinary conduct can only be explained by the fact that she has never been at school before. I am going out to the garden to speak to her. You girls will now go as usual to your separate schoolrooms and commence study."
Mrs. Freeman could not help uttering a faint, inward sigh.
"She was interceding for Bridget," said Dorothy.
"Oh, goodness—no, I mustn't—mercy! nor that either; oh, I—I say, Mrs. Freeman, don't let the new dresses be frumpy, or I'll break my heart. I do so adore looking at myself in a lovely dress."